(Topic ID: 159310)

Flash Retheme Project: QUEEN!


By TopMoose

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 376 posts
  • 109 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 26 days ago by mbwalker
  • Topic is favorited by 100 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 222 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

20181202_195841_resized (resized).jpg
20181202_180320_resized (resized).jpg
20181130_184950_resized (resized).jpg
20181129_135224_resized (resized).jpg
20181129_125152_resized (resized).jpg
20181129_125143_resized (resized).jpg
Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 8.47.04 AM (resized).png
P8200606 (resized).JPG
P8200604 (resized).JPG
P8200605 (resized).JPG
P8200600 (resized).JPG
20180217_114643_resized (resized).jpg
20180217_114534_resized (resized).jpg
20180217_114613_resized (resized).jpg
20180217_114556_resized (resized).jpg
20180217_114520_resized (resized).jpg

You're currently viewing posts by Pinsider topmoose.
Click here to go back to viewing the entire thread.

#1 3 years ago

Like every other pinhead out there, I've dreamed about making my own machine. Recently, I've put some serious thought into how to actually go about it.

I've read Aurich's posts about simplifying the pinball experience and agree that tangles of ramps and endless complicated rulesets are getting out of control, which is perfect because my dream theme is sort of "the game Bally never got around to making." I want to create a real late-70's throwback with electronic beeps, no ramps and lots of character.

My other inspiration is a lack of space in my home. I'd love to own a Golden Arrow, Buccaneer, OXO, Strange World and Gemini, but I have room for only one more game at this point (in my bedroom, if I move some furniture around). So I want to make it count and create a sort of "wedgehead multicade," capable of playing several different games on a single layout.

After getting advice on these Forums, I've decided that re-theming an existing game would save countless hours and dollars. I took the plunge this week when I found and bought a Flash playfield on Craigslist - it's missing most of the plastics (which I'd replace anyway), along with four coils, one of the flippers and a few standard parts, but the bones were there - all the brackets, switches and game-specific parts were in place. At $250 I overpaid a little, but at least this gets me started.

P5040033_(resized).JPG
P5060035_(resized).JPG

#2 3 years ago

I did a lot of research before deciding that the ideal game for a re-theme is a Williams Flash. It has several great things going for it:

1. Fantastic layout with lots to do. Great flow, a cool spinner shot and a kickout hole to pause the action if I need to. The bonus counter is arranged in a circle, which helps with some of the ideas I have in mind. Also, I love love LOVE the short shooter lane that launches the ball across the playfield into a figure-8. It's like an architect saying "elevators have gone up and down for a hundred years. What if this one went sideways instead?"

2. Terrible artwork. I'd feel bad about obliterating a pretty game, but the art package on Flash is so awful that I'm eager to get started. Seriously, it looks like margin doodles from a high school burnout's social studies notebook.

3. A high production run. Over 10,000 Flashes were made, so I feel better about hacking one apart. I'd never do this to a rare title.

P5060036_(resized).JPG

P5060037_(resized).JPG

P5060040_(resized).JPG

#3 3 years ago

My first order of business is to clear (nearly) everything off to get a flat playfield. I did it in sections, putting all the parts for each slingshot, flipper, bumper, etc. in a separate labeled Ziplock bag. Posts and ball guides went in their own bag so I can clean them later. I also clipped most of the wires on the back and removed the wiring, as I'd be re-stringing everything down the line. Then I wiped it all down with some Windex to remove a couple decades of grime.

P5070041_(resized).JPG

P5070043_(resized).JPG

#5 3 years ago

To make new playfield graphics, I'll need a full-size representation of the existing layout. I don't have a portable scanner and can't justify buying one buying one just for this project, so I went old-school. I taped a large piece of paper to the playfield and rubbed it down with a stick of graphite. I can now take this page, run it through a scanner, import the file into Adobe Illustrator and design new graphics around the existing playfield layout.

Notice how the relief rubbing picked up ball trails and even some of the printed graphics.

P5070044_(resized).JPG

P5070047_(resized).JPG

P5070045_(resized).JPG

#6 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Wow, that playfield is in great shape for a Flash!!

It was a pretty good find! I'll want to re-seat or replace some of the inserts though. I have some specific questions for you - I'll post on your restoration thread.

1 week later
#11 3 years ago

Nothing wrong with the bonus inserts except for the old graphics. A light sanding does the trick.

P5130052_(resized).JPG

#12 3 years ago

Some of the other inserts needed to be replaced, though.

P5130053_(resized).JPG

P5130054_(resized).JPG

P5130056_(resized).JPG

P5130057_(resized).JPG

#15 3 years ago

Fun with Bondo.

P5140075_(resized).JPG

P5140076_(resized).JPG

P5140077_(resized).JPG

#16 3 years ago

More work with the inserts.

P5140058_(resized).JPG

P5140063_(resized).JPG

P5140069_(resized).JPG

P5140064_(resized).JPG

#18 3 years ago

I thought I'd keep close track of spending on this project as well. So far:

Playfield: $250
Marco Order #1: $34.99
Pinball Life order #1: $20.35

Total: $305.34

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

how many of us would have liked to trade our beater playfield for that beautiful example that was sanded down...

Quoted from ForceFlow:

I would have been happy to trade my worn playfield for that nicer one...

Ermagerd, you guys, it'll be fine. Please just let me do this.

26
#28 3 years ago

Jeezy creezy.

Clearly, there are people who hate my choice of materials and they'll probably hate my artwork and they'll HAAAAAAAATE my theme and my cabinet and my programming and they'll second-guess every single choice I make in this project. Please understand a few things:

1. It's okay if you don't like it. There will only ever be one of these and I will pretty much be the only one who plays it. I'm going to make it look and play the way I want it to.

2. There are literally THOUSANDS of other Flash playfields in existence. I'm just using ONE of them for my personal project. There are plenty of other Flash playfields to enjoy and - who knows - maybe someone will make reproductions some day.

3. Forgive me if it's not worn down to the wood, but I was specifically looking for a Flash and this one was available near me at a reasonable price. This particular playfield was hanging out on Craigslist for six weeks - if you really wanted it, you could have bought it yourself.

4. Even in pristine condition, Flash's artwork is ugly as sin. Please stop acting like I'm splashing paint on a Vermeer.

5. It's going to be fine. We're in the early stages of the project where everything is messy and ugly and it will look better a few steps down the road. There will be plenty of other, more important things to complain about in future posts.

I know you guys mean well and I hope you enjoy seeing the progress on this project. If it really upsets you, please just avert your eyes.

#32 3 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

Flash has some of the worst hand-drawn art ever, particularly the backglass. I support this retheme. Any thoughts on what the new theme will be?

Thanks - I have a theme and I've already created the playfield artwork, but I'm going to wait a bit longer to reveal it. Maybe after I meet with my printers this weekend.

#35 3 years ago

Trigger warning: today I remove the old mylar.

P5210082_(resized).JPG

P5210083_(resized).JPG

P5210084_(resized).JPG

P5210085_(resized).JPG

#38 3 years ago
Quoted from mr2xbass:

I'm curious, where you are getting this printed and on what kind of material? For my own project, I've been looking both online and locally for the best option. What is your (or anyone else's) opinion of this: http://www.banners.com/decals/3m-control-tac
IDK anything about this material as far as being used for a playfield, but definitely cheaper than anything I've found locally, even with the added optional die cutting.

I met with my printer this weekend, explained the project and asked a lot of questions. Option 1 is to get my graphics printed on a black-backed white vinyl decal with holes laser-cut out for the pops, drops, inserts, screw holes, etc. and then get a second set of insert decals printed on clear vinyl. Option 2 is to mask the inserts, paint everything white and get the graphics printed in a single sheet on a clear vinyl decal, so I wouldn't have to worry about doing it in layers. My printer recommended Option 1 because my design features some areas of white, light gray and yellow which wouldn't print as well on the clear material.

We also talked about the clear protective veneer he uses and how it would be affected by the clearcoat. The veneer gives a bit of extra UV protection and prevents scratches, which might occur during application. My Obi-Wan on this project, Vid1900, recommended doing a test, so I headed home with some samples. With some leftover clearcoat from my last big project, I coated a piece of scrap lumber, let it set up, and applied three samples: an uncoated piece of printed vinyl, the regular clear laminate, and a printed sample with 3M brand laminate. Then I cleared over all three, let it dry and checked the results.

The clearcoat stuck to all three samples, no problem, but I noticed something curious on the 3M sample - a strange criss-cross texture is apparent when the light reflects in just the right way. Very strange. But with this data in mind, I now know to order black-backed white vinyl with the regular laminate.

P5210086_(resized).JPG

P5210087_(resized).JPG

#44 3 years ago
Quoted from mr2xbass:

I had considered the idea of even doing one layer and having the light from the inserts just shine through the vinyl, similar in appearance to some of the in-playfiled lights of DE Simpsons for example. I don't really care for the way that looks on DE Simpsons, but it might work for my application.

That was Option 3 - cover the inserts with white translucent vinyl - but I immediately rejected it because that's not the look I want for this game.

Quoted from toyotaboy:

Skip to 3:30 on Ben's mini shuttle pinball build:
» YouTube video

Excellent - thanks for posting that! He's basically doing my Option 2, but with a layer of white vinyl instead of painting the board white.

1 week later
#49 3 years ago

I hope someone can do me a favor - I'm working on designing plastic parts while I wait for my graphics and clearcoat orders to come in, but most of them were missing from my playfield.

Would any Flash owners be able to take four of the plastics, trace them on a piece of paper (including post holes), scan it at full size and email it to me? I'd need:

- the plastics on both sides of the upper lanes
- the plastic between the lower pop and the 3-bank of drops
- the larger piece on the lower right that surrounds the kick out hole.

Let me know if you can help. Thanks!

1 week later
#52 3 years ago

Prepare the fainting couch and get ready to clutch your pearls - today I do a little spot painting.

There's a chance that my graphics won't match up with the playfield with perfect precision, so this is just to ensure that the old graphics don't show through in the gap.

P6100145_(resized).JPG

P6100144_(resized).JPG

P6100146_(resized).JPG

#53 3 years ago

Here's an update on the project cost so far:

Playfield: $250
Marco Order #1: $34.99
Pinball Life order #1: $20.35
Marco Order #2: $54.18
Donor game: $400
Clearcoat & hardener: $126.38*
Playfield graphics: $86.14
Clearcoating supplies: $63.79

Total: $1032.83

*I bought twice as much clearcoat as I need because a). I wanted to make sure I had enough and b). the only supplier in town that will sell it to me is hard to work with and I want to deal with them as little as possible. Now I won't have to go back to them for my next project.

#55 3 years ago

It's clearcoating day!

Just a light layer to lock everything down. Also, sandwiching the decals between layers of clearcoat will help equalize the tension, ensuring that nothing lifts up where it shouldn't.

Bulbs and inverted star switches are in place to keep things from getting gummy.

P6100147_(resized).JPG

P6100148_(resized).JPG

#56 3 years ago

Once the clearcoat was dry, it was time to apply the decals - really the only part of the process that I was at all nervous about.

First, I pinned the decal to the playfield using nails in the screw holes, to get the proper allignment. Once it was set, I taped the back half down so it wouldn't move and started on the "hinge" method of decal application - you'll notice that I used black-backed vinyl to ensure that the old Flash graphics wouldn't show through.

First, I carefully peeled back the backing paper halfway and cut it off. Then, using a padded squeegee, I slowly worked from the center to the bottom of the playfield, pressing the decal into the board. Next, I peeled back the remaining backing paper and worked from the center to the top. All that was left was to peel away the protective tack paper to reveal the decal.

P6110151_(resized).JPG

P6110152_(resized).JPG

P6110153_(resized).JPG

#57 3 years ago

As I suspected, the placement of some of the holes was slightly off and didn't line up precisely with the inserts. I had expected that to be the case, so I had a set of clear decals made for the inserts with black borders. Not only does this allow me to add text and numbers to some of the inserts, it lets me hide the edges.

I also had to re-poke a few screw holes, but they'll all be covered by posts and playfield elements. I'll also do a little touchup after the next coat of clear.

P6110155_(resized).JPG

P6110156_(resized).JPG

54
#58 3 years ago

Here's the post where I reveal my new theme and, consequently, lose half my audience.

P6110159_(resized).JPG

P6110157_(resized).JPG

#63 3 years ago
Quoted from way2wyrd:

I want it all and i want it now
-Jeff

You and me both, Jeff. Don't Stop Me Now, because this is still months away from being a playable game.

#67 3 years ago
Quoted from chucktee:

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? A Flash re-theme into Queen? It's become a reality! It's about time; when it's finished I can't wait to seeee....

As I mentioned in my first post, I feel that this is the theme Bally never got around to in the 70's. How does the greatest rock band of all time not have a pinball machine?

In case you're curious, May, Taylor and Deacon will appear on the plastics.

ed: I feel that the proper way to make a Queen pinball machine is to do it in the late-70's style - no ramps, no boring standard fan layout, using LED displays rather than complex DMD animations. I wouldn't want Stern doing this theme nowadays because they simply don't make that kind of machine.

#71 3 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

dude, you don't even know. Mad respect, GREAT choice of theme!
Seriously, see if this guy will do some custom callouts (I assume you're adding real samples?)
» YouTube video

I was thinking Freddy could do the callouts himself. (but those decisions are months away).

#73 3 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Hope you don't mind, couldn't help myself. Took your playfield shot and tried to line it up with the existing playfield in future pinball the best I could. I have no intention in distributing it, just wanted to see what it might look like populated.

Awesome! You'll notice that the upper flipper "strums" the guitar and the row of star rollovers runs up the frets. I'm thinking blue pop caps and maybe album covers on the drop targets.

I'm thrilled to see that there's so much support for this theme!

#87 3 years ago
Quoted from Well_Fed_Games:

That theme and art is amazing. Love how the instruments/equipment fit the flow of the game. Did you create the PF art yourself or commission an artist, etc.?

Thanks! I did it myself. I'm pretty handy with Adobe Illustrator.

#90 3 years ago

Clearcoating is done! (Whew!)

Each session was done in a hot, closed garage while wearing a respirator, goggles and a Tyvek suit. I was swimming in sweat after each application. There were some complications along the way but I think the last coat turned out pretty well. Now it will live in its cabinet, stowed under Jet Spin, to cure for six weeks. When I get back from ReplayFX it will be ready for a final sanding, polish and wax.

P6180162_(resized).JPG

#94 3 years ago
Quoted from dudah:

Great work! What are your plans for a backglass?

So far, I've only given it a little thought. Images of the band for sure, maybe relocate the score displays to one side. That'll require making a new interior panel.

Quoted from Brazy:

Nice! How will you address music? Sounds in general? Didn't know if there's someway of putting your own sounds in an older game. ..there's plenty to choose from for sure but I'd suggest Dragon Attack, that would fit a pin nicely in my opinion

It will have running background music for sure. I've also started to glean callouts from YouTube audio: guitar licks, bass pops, drums, and Freddy shouting things like "HEY!" and "YEAH!". Brian May's signature guitar tone already sounds like classic Bally sounds.

But before programming and audio, the first order of business will be to get the cabinet in shape, finish and populate the playfield and make it look like a pinball machine. Like Frankenstein's monster, I'll create the body first, then give it a brain and animate it with lightning.

#95 3 years ago

Dear mods: we need an emoji for "sweaty and exhausted."

#97 3 years ago

When assembled, Flash has three light-colored side rails at the bottom of the playfield that aren't going to look great with my new design, so I've decided to cover them with black veneer. At first, I thought I'd have to cut separate veneer panels for each side of each rail (which is why the corners are painted in the photos) but soon realized that I can glue one larger sheet one side at a time to cover everything at once.

This also gives me another use for the mini clamps I bought to install side mirrors on my TOTAN. I clamped the wood to a piece of flat scrap lumber to ensure even adhesion.

Once the veneer was glued down, I just had to trim it up and re-drill the holes. It's not necessary to cover the whole right side rail, since just a few inches at the bottom are exposed. The rest is covered by the lower apron and the plastics.

If you're going to try this, learn from my initial mistakes and apply glue to the wood, rather than the veneer. And mark your hole placement first.

P6180161_(resized).JPG

P6180163_(resized).JPG

P6180164_(resized).JPG

P6180165_(resized).JPG

P6180166_(resized).JPG

#100 3 years ago
Quoted from SealClubber:

I am interested in how you will tackle the backglass.

One of my goals for this machine is to make it a "wedgehead multicade" that plays different games all on the same layout. For example, I could do a "hit the moving target" game like Golden Arrow or a "light numbers 1 through 10" game like Fun Land or Buccaneer. I'd also like to incorporate a game like OXO (or probably more like Bongo), but that would require a tic tac toe display and the only place for it is on the back glass, which would require making a new inside panel and then designing art around that. The backglass might be one of the last elements I tackle, after I get some important technical issues sorted out.

But for now, with the playfield resting comfortably, I'll turn my attention to the cabinet.

#104 3 years ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

This is coming along just awesome...great theme.
Galileo.....Galileo......Galileo......Galileo.

Galileo Figaro...!

It will be a while before the playfield is ready for refinishing and repopulating, so I'm trying to get little things done in the mean time. This includes making plastics. I've had some nice Pinsiders volunteer to send me tracings of my missing pieces, but they haven't had time yet, so if someone wants to help me out, please let me know!

Quoted from Travish:

I will need your address and when did you say you were leaving?

Sure thing - it's 8746 Copperhead... Heyyyyyyyy!

#106 3 years ago

Here's a quick project I can check off my list: Drop targets!

I started by getting images of Queen's first 8 album covers, reducing them to 1" squares and printing them on full-sheet label paper. Then, I covered them with a leftover piece of transparent laminate that I got from my printer (remember those clearcoat tests I did a few weeks ago?) and cut them out with an X-acto. Then, I just had to peel and stick them onto the targets. Voila!

P6230167_(resized).JPG

P6230168_(resized).JPG

P6230169_(resized).JPG

P6230172_(resized).JPG

#110 3 years ago

P6240173_(resized).JPG

P6240174_(resized).JPG

P6240175_(resized).JPG

P6250176_(resized).JPG

#112 3 years ago

An 8" X 10" holographic-sparkle sticker is only $.89 at my local art store.

P6280194_(resized).JPG

P6280195_(resized).JPG

1 week later
#115 3 years ago

I still have four more weeks before the clearcoat is cured and I can't make any real progress until August ( ), so I'm looking ahead to the next three or four steps down the road. I created this diagram, which shows several things all at once:

1. Inventory of controlled lights, coils, switches and GI that I'll need to wire up.
2. Placement, size and color of the rings I'll need (I'm planning on going to Titan for these).
3. Number, placement and color of lamps (GI and controlled).
4. Lights grouped into columns for the lamp matrix.
5. Switches grouped into columns for the switch matrix.

Screen_Shot_2016-07-07_at_2.03.02_PM_(resized).png

#116 3 years ago

Here are two more diagrams I created for wiring the lamp columns and rows. You'll notice that in my game, the pop bumper and kickout lights are controlled, rather than GI, like in the original Flash.

Screen_Shot_2016-07-07_at_2.06.48_PM_(resized).png
Screen_Shot_2016-07-07_at_2.07.01_PM_(resized).png

1 week later
#119 3 years ago
Quoted from Well_Fed_Games:

I need to get some parts for my re-theme soon- was Marco your source for new inserts? Love the color choices.

Thanks! Marco has a good selection, but I included mine in a big order from Pinballlife.com. Prices are comparable (they're a few cents each, but it adds up quick!) I know Steve at PBR carries them as well.

1 week later
#123 3 years ago

I'm back from ReplayFX! More importantly, it's now been six weeks since I finished spraying the clearcoat so the playfield should be fully cured and ready for sanding.

P7290234_(resized).JPG

P7290236_(resized).JPG

P7290237_(resized).JPG

P7290238_(resized).JPG

P7290240_(resized).JPG

P7300241_(resized).JPG

P7300244_(resized).JPG

P7300245_(resized).JPG

#124 3 years ago

Here's the sanded playfield.

P7300246_(resized).JPG

#126 3 years ago
Quoted from thundergod76:

Looks fantastic! Hate to sound picky but I'd like to see the other band members on the pf. Great use of Freddie and the Red Special.

May, Taylor and Deacon will all have prominent places on the plastics.

#127 3 years ago

Now for the final polish and buff with liquid abrasives.

P7300247_(resized).JPG

P7300248_(resized).JPG

P7300249_(resized).JPG

#128 3 years ago

A coat of carnuba paste wax, and you can see the clear reflection of my light fixture and the blinds from across the room.

P7300250_(resized).JPG

P7300251_(resized).JPG

#137 3 years ago

Time for another cost update.

Playfield: $250
Marco Order #1: $34.99
Pinball Life order #1: $20.35
Marco Order #2: $54.18
Donor game: $400
Clearcoat & hardener: $126.38*
Playfield graphics: $86.14
Clearcoating supplies: $123.98
Veneer: 20.91
Cabinet decals: 301.74
Pinball Life order #2: 210.78
Titan Pinball order: $61.17

Total: $1690.62

#139 3 years ago

The re-population has begun.

I've also printed my plastic shapes on cardstock, cut them out, and have been tailoring them to the playfield, shaving off a bit here, widening a bit there. Pinsider Miracleman helped me with the smaller plastics, but I had to create that big lower right piece from scratch and it's taken to longest to get the shape just right.

P7310252_(resized).JPG

P8040268_(resized).JPG

#140 3 years ago

Here's a quandry I could use some help with. The playfield brackets that hang on the lock bar and secure the apron in place don't line up with the slots and gaps - it's the only drawback to putting a Williams playfield in a Bally body. Now the glass won't go on and the lockbar won't latch.

I could re-drill holes on the left one and re-mount the bracket to line up with the lock bar, but the trough solenoid is in the way of the right one. Would it be better to:

1. Install a proper Williams lockbar (would that even work in a Bally body)?

2. Cut off the tops of the brackets so the playfield rests on the interior rails, rather than hanging onto the lockbar?

3. Get a custom bracket made that bolts into the current holes, turns a corner and hangs in the lockbar slots? Where would one even get such a piece made?

Any other ideas are welcome. Priorities in order are: 1. Effective 2. Cheap 3. Easy.

P8040267_(resized).JPG

#143 3 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Easiest: drill new holes in the playfield to adjust for position of brackets (if there's room)
Best solution: Buy a williams lockdown bar. Don't know if the mounting holes are the same, but it will fit (who cares if there are extra holes, you won't see them)
Option 2 is the worst idea

I can move the left bracket, but there's stuff in the way of the right one. Buying a Williams lockbar might be the simplest solution. My only concern there is if it will screw into the cabinet the same way.

What about cutting new holes and gaps into the existing lockbar?

#145 3 years ago

The re-population continues! I replaced the 70's style flipper assemblies with more modern systems. To make room for the upper flipper, I had to move one of the lamp sockets, so I'll have to get a flex-light to reach into that spot. All the topside pop bumper parts are new, but I discovered that I have only one complete set of parts for below deck, so I've attached what I can and will have to start yet another shopping list for the rest. But the top is looking good.

P8060278_(resized).JPG

P8060279_(resized).JPG

P8060280_(resized).JPG

#146 3 years ago

Bonus! I had the idea to attach a 6 volt battery to the GI line and got a little preview of things to come.

P8060282_(resized).JPG

P8050274_(resized).JPG

P8050276_(resized).JPG

#148 3 years ago

Last week (back in post #140) I wrote about a problem with the Williams playfield hangers not lining up with the Bally lockbar. I considered drilling new holes or replacing the lockbar system... then a hero stepped forward.

Pinsider Mk1Mod0 of Third Coast Pinball came to the rescue. I sent him all the measurements required for a custom adapter bracket and a mirror-finish masterpiece showed up in my mailbox today. It is gorgeous and it works PERFECTLY!

If you ever need custom parts like this fabricated, I highly recommend that you send Mk1Mod0 a PM - it's quick and easy and the results are spectacular.

WmsToBallyBracket.pdf

P8120301_(resized).JPG

P8120302_(resized).JPG

P8120303_(resized).JPG

#149 3 years ago

It's not just the playfield I'm re-theming in this project - it's also the cabinet.

Actually, this is the second time this cabinet has been re-purposed. Years after it rolled off the Bally line, it was painted black and re-themed with a conversion kit. When I got it, the machine was still working and sturdy, if a little dinged up.

With the rails off and some of the original finish exposed, who can correctly tell me what game this cabinet originally housed?

P8070283_(resized).JPG

P8080290_(resized).JPG

#151 3 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

Playboy?
Aaron
FAST Pinball

Correct!

13
#152 3 years ago

Time to give this cabinet a Queen makeover with some new decals.

P8070287_(resized).JPG

P8070288_(resized).JPG

P8070286_(resized).JPG

P8120304_(resized).JPG

#157 3 years ago

A few details:

New black leg bolts with black washers and felt pads.
A keyless lock for the coin door.
Fresh new white buttons and housings.
Shooter rod is re-assembled with a new spring.

I love the feel of a classic Bally shooter handle.

P8110292_(resized).JPG

P8110296_(resized).JPG

P8110294_(resized).JPG

P8110295_(resized).JPG

10
#158 3 years ago

I finished designing the plastics a couple of weeks ago - tailoring and perfecting the shapes - and then looked into getting them fabricated in acrylic. I did a small project last year at Ponoko.com, but with materials, laser cutting, shipping, tax, setup fees, etc., this project would cost me about $90. Then I remembered that my main library downtown has a "makerspace" with all sorts of cool gadgets, including a laser cutter/engraver. Price: free to members. I'd just have to bring my own sheet of acrylic, which I picked up at Lowes for $11. I even had enough acrylic to make a couple of extra slingshot plastics and a few protector pieces for the high-impact areas.

The downside is that there's a two-week waitlist to use any of their equipment. But the wait is over and today was the day! I documented the whole process, which took about 40 minutes from setup through cutting. Here's a video of the machine in action.

Total cost: $11 for the acrylic, $2 for downtown parking.

Now I just have to wait for my printer to finish the graphics.

#162 3 years ago
Quoted from swinks:

looking great
with the flipper upgrades, very interested are you running with the original boards and rules? are the coils in the flipper mechs the same as the coils on the original flash?
very curious if the upgrade gives you a little more strength.

I'm going to remove all the original solid state components and 90% of the wiring, creating my own switch and light matrixes, and use P-ROC boards. The ruleset will be entirely different - objective-based modes rather than straight-up scoring.

#164 3 years ago
Quoted from swinks:

looking great
with the flipper upgrades, very interested are you running with the original boards and rules? are the coils in the flipper mechs the same as the coils on the original flash?
very curious if the upgrade gives you a little more strength.

I expect that the new flipper mechs may be a little stronger than the originals, but they're certainly going to be more sturdy.

#165 3 years ago

My printer is taking his time with my light shield graphics, but at least I can finish assembling the pop bumpers and install the drop targets.

P8130305 (resized).JPG

P8210330 (resized).JPG

P8210331 (resized).JPG

P8210332 (resized).JPG

#166 3 years ago

As I mentioned earlier, I plan on setting up my own light and switch matrices (matrixes? matrix's?) so today's project is to clear the underside of the playfield. I left behind the GI circuits (no reason to re-wire those), a few connections here and there and I left the drop target wires dangling to help me keep track of future wiring.

P8270337 (resized).JPG

P8270338 (resized).JPG

#168 3 years ago

They came! My plastics graphics came today!

I applied them the same way as the playfield and cabinet decals, using the "hinge" method and trimmed them using an X-acto blade. Repeat nine times and I have a full set of completed plastics!

P8290339 (resized).JPG

P8290340 (resized).JPG

P8290342 (resized).JPG

P8290343 (resized).JPG

11
#169 3 years ago

Here's what the plastics look like in place.

P8290344 (resized).JPG

P8290345 (resized).JPG

P8290346 (resized).JPG

P8290347 (resized).JPG

P8290348 (resized).JPG

P8290350 (resized).JPG

#170 3 years ago

And a few with the GI circuit hooked up to a battery.

P8290352 (resized).JPG

P8290351 (resized).JPG

#172 3 years ago

I had my printer make some decals for the lower apron at the same time as he did the cabinet decals, but after I applied them and removed the tack paper, I noticed a problem with the fonts.

So when he made my plastics graphics, I had him run a revised file. Much better now. Then I added some temporary instruction cards and put everything in place.

P8300353 (resized).JPG

P8300354 (resized).JPG

P8300355 (resized).JPG

18
#173 3 years ago

...and with that, I'm ready to declare the first phase of this project done!

What we have here is a very expensive pinball-shaped piece of non-functioning furniture. The body of my Frankenstein's monster is complete - the next step will be to give it a nervous system and a brain.

P8300357 (resized).JPG

P8300358 (resized).JPG

#177 3 years ago
Quoted from docquest:

Those look great. I will need to make plastics for my re-theme soon so I'm still trying to figure out which approach to use. It looks like you attached the image to the top of the plastic? Did you apply any type of laminate or clear coat on the image? Were they printed on a material designed to be backlit or is it just white paper?

I asked my printer to use a white translucent vinyl used for lightboxes and to make it a "reverse sticker," with the adhesive on the printed side, so I could stick them on the underside of the clear plastic pieces.

#178 3 years ago

The next step will be to wire up the light matrix and I've come up with my 6 X 8 grid, below.

Question: I know that the signal will go from the P-ROC to each column sequentially from top to bottom (i.e. P-ROC > 1 > 2 > 3... etc.) but what about the rows? Does the signal come from the P-ROC and go left-to-right (i.e. P-ROC > 1 > 9 > 17... etc.) or does it go into the P-ROC from right to left (i.e. ...17 > 9 > 1 > P-ROC)?

In other words, should the P-ROC connect to the rows from 1, 2, 3, 4... etc. or from 41, 42, 43, 44, etc.?

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.29.42 AM (resized).png

#179 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

The next step will be to wire up the light matrix and I've come up with my 6 X 8 grid, below.
Question: I know that the signal will go from the P-ROC to each column sequentially from top to bottom (i.e. P-ROC > 1 > 2 > 3... etc.) but what about the rows? Does the signal come from the P-ROC and go left-to-right (i.e. P-ROC > 1 > 9 > 17... etc.) or does it go into the P-ROC from right to left (i.e. ...17 > 9 > 1 > P-ROC)?
In other words, should the P-ROC connect to the rows from 1, 2, 3, 4... etc. or from 41, 42, 43, 44, etc.?

It occurs to me that this isn't really a problem - I could, theoretically, connect the rows to the P-ROC at any point because once the line is energized, all the points it includes are energized. Moving on to the next question: how to wire the master switch mounted on the bottom of the cabinet.

Below is a diagram I came up with showing all the components I'll need and how they'll be set up.

Question #1: How does one connect the three wires from the wall socket (positive, negative, ground) to the two-pronged cabinet switch?

Question #2: How does one further wire the cabinet switch so the power splits into the two power supply devices?

Any help and/or photos would be welcome!

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 9.56.33 AM (resized).png

#181 3 years ago
Quoted from emsrph:

Excellent work, following along!
Always switch power using the hot wire. This is the black wire.
So, black wire from your main electric cord into the switch and two wires on the other side of the switch to your power component inputs. You probably though should add a fuse in line before going in to your components....so:
Electrical line black wire-----switch-----fuse----< two black wires, one to each power supply.
Hope that makes sense?
Eric

It does! Thank you! I'd also need to split the negative and ground wires to connect to the power supplies too, no? I'm thinking it might be easier to get one of these, chop off the plugs and connect the wires as needed.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 11.22.30 AM (resized).png

#184 3 years ago
Quoted from emsrph:

Yes, added as an edit, white and grounds will need to be connected respectively.
You can split the power with that cord but if your power supplies don't have plugs then it might be better to make all your connections within a utility outlet box. That way you can also have a power outlet (switched or always live) for soldering or adding mods.

That is a fantastic idea.

#185 3 years ago

Here are the power supply components I'm looking at. Neither appears to have a standard plug, so wiring will have to be connected to the lugs.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 2.29.55 PM (resized).png
Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 2.29.40 PM (resized).png

Is there not one device that puts out three different voltages? That would make things a lot easier.

#195 3 years ago
Quoted from mwiz:

Once those voltages go into the FAST board there is an output connector you can send those voltages to whatever boards you are using.
If you need 5V and 6V there is another connector on FAST board you can use but you probably need another power supply. However if you use LEDS you can probably get away with 5V(?).
Hope this helps! Now can you help me with my art? lol just kidding.

That looks like fantastic work and helps me out a lot! Diagrams are a start but it helps to see photos of what it looks like put together.

Questions: Do your Raspberry Pi and main board (P-ROC?) require 12V? Someone recommended including fuses between the power devices and logic boards - the Fast power filter does that, yes?

Graphics are the easy part for me but I'm winging it when it comes to the electrical engineering - what's your game's theme?

#196 3 years ago

Did you get the power devices from Fast as well?

#197 3 years ago

I's been a long, exciting day for me as I started wiring the lamp matrixes! I revised them a little from what I posted a few days ago, but everything went pretty smoothly. Columns and rows are color-coded in ROYGBIV order. Columns wires are grouped with red zip ties and rows are grouped with yellow. My fingers smell like flux.

P9030382 (resized).JPG

P9030383 (resized).JPG

P9030384 (resized).JPG

#198 3 years ago

Now for the fun part: I made a video of my final matrix tests! I manually attached the wires to a 6 volt battery and everything looks like it's working beautifully!

#200 3 years ago

I have no idea about how to control the displays yet. I'd like to keep the original 70's neumeric LED's and once heard a rumor that someone had found a way to control those, but I don't know what they used.

Which components are powered by the 12v line?

1 week later
#204 3 years ago

My switch matrix is done! (Well, mostly. I still have some questions about how the drop targets work, but I'll see if I can't work it out.)

Unfortunately, testing the switch matrix doesn't lend itself to a cool video like the light matrix, so I'll drop a few artsy photos of my wiring instead. It may look like a mess up close, but it makes sense to me.

Also: two-tiered cable ties, copyright TopMoose 2016 ©

P9120406 (resized).JPG

P9120404 (resized).JPG

P9120401 (resized).JPG

P9120402 (resized).JPG

P9120396 (resized).JPG

#207 3 years ago

Coils and flash lamps are wired! White wire for positive, black for negative. I ordered 25 feet of each and blew right through it with no problem. So I went out and bought 25 more feet of each and used it all up in a couple of hours. It took one more trip to the store and now I'm done and have some line left over to connect to the circuit boards when the time comes. But I'll probably need to make a fourth and final wire run.

I discovered in all this that hardware stores generally don't carry wire smaller than 14 AWG. I had to go to an auto parts store to find a match for the 18 I was using.

Here's how the underside of the playfield looks now:

P9180407 (resized).JPG

#208 3 years ago

I also took time to finish the various bundles with Molex connectors. The six plugs pictured are for light rows, light columns, switch rows, switch columns, positive coils and negative coils. The four row and column connections are color-coded with red, yellow, blue and green zip ties throughout the game.

The two loose wires are for the general illumination and will connect directly to the power supply, rather than the lamp boards.

P9180409 (resized).JPG

#209 3 years ago

Here's an update on the cost so far.

Playfield: $250
Marco Order #1: $34.99
Pinball Life order #1: $20.35
Marco Order #2: $54.18
Donor game: $400
Clearcoat & hardener: $126.38
Playfield graphics: $86.14
Clearcoating supplies: $123.98
Veneer: 20.91
Cabinet decals: 301.74
Pinball Life order #2: 210.78
Titan Pinball order: $61.17
Plastics: $91.65
Wire & connectors: $232.78
Electronic components: $115.04

Total: $2130.09

#210 3 years ago

Today I got started re-wiring the cabinet by removing all the existing wires. The cabinet switches were part of the original switch matrix, so there were a lot of wires running back and forth between the cabinet and the playfield, but in my design, the cabinet switches are all dedicated, separate from the matrix, making things a lot simpler.

Since this will be a strictly home-use, free-play-only machine, I was able to simplify further by eliminating a lot of the switches entirely - no need for working coin mechs, slam tilt or roll tilt. That left me with just four switches - two flipper buttons, the credit button and the bob tilt.

I also replaced the original 1978 two-prong plug with a modern 3-prong version. With that simple change, the power cord could stay intact as well as all the existing interior power setup. The line goes into the cabinet, through a simple relay, through a utility plug, to the toggle switch, and out a simple pair of wires, which will feed my power supplies and put out the correct voltages for my components.

P9240411 (resized).JPG

P9240413 (resized).JPG

P9240414 (resized).JPG

#212 3 years ago

Today's chore is to clean out the backbox, removing all the old circuit boards and gently storing them in anti-static plastic bags to sell off later. Now I'm just left with the wiring harness (which is attached to the displays, which I'd like to keep) and a few mounting brackets.

Here's the before and after:

P9250423 (resized).JPG

P9250424 (resized).JPG

#213 3 years ago

Important question: What's the best way to mount my new circuit boards in the backbox? I'm thinking I can drill through the thin sheet metal into the wood and use screws with nylon standoffs.

Would it be better to try to re-mount and re-use the existing brackets?

Should I spring for a P-ROC with the bracket already attached?

Thoughts?

#214 3 years ago

Wellllll... s#&%.

Minor setback. It turns out I overthought some of my wiring - I thought I needed a positive and negative wire for each coil and direct switch to plug into the circuit boards, but it turns out that the coils should all be wired to one node in series with the other node for each going into the boards. I was able to take out about 60 feet of cable, simplifying the inside of the cabinet.

Also, I discovered that I could control all 11 of my coils with a single driver board if I took the flasher lamp out of the mix. Luckily, I have an open spot on the lamp matrix, so I replaced the two flasher sockets with three 5v lamps and wired them into the matrix.

In other good news, I've learned that my circuitry is on its way! This phase is coming together and I hope to make some good progress this weekend.

P9280426 (resized).JPG

P9270425 (resized).JPG

#215 3 years ago

Today's activity is to construct the power supply.

What you're looking at below is the main 120V line coming in from the cabinet switch, through a 15 amp fuse to the high-voltage power unit on the left and the low-power unit on the right. The high power line (which should be about 48V) goes out through an 8 amp fuse and the low voltage line (which should put out about 5V) goes out through a 4 amp fuse.

So I attached the connectors, got everything set up and plugged in the machine... so far so good.

Then I flipped the cabinet switch... and the power units came whirring to life!
Power indicators lit!
Fuses didn't blow!

SUCCESS!

PA010427 (resized).JPG

By the way, that's the same piece of wood I used for my clearcoat tests last Spring.

#216 3 years ago

But here's the thing...

I got out my multimeter to check the output of each power unit and couldn't get a reading.
Cables are plugged into the right spots, the dial is turned to DC voltage ("20" for the low power, "200" for the high power)
Positive to positive, negative to negative.

The reading for both lines consistently reads 1_.__

I've tried adjusting the little screw on each unit that fine tunes the voltage, but the readout never changes.

What am I doing wrong?

1 week later
#217 3 years ago

The most difficult thing about this phase of construction is waiting for parts to arrive.
But today... progress!

PA080430 (resized).JPG

PA080431 (resized).JPG

#219 3 years ago
Quoted from Helixthree:

I have a FLASH table (the first i ever bought) that i have less than 10 games on because it keeps locking up... (board issues) when on multiplayer, and the displays die. (Currently at a technicians house who is stumped).
I was considering a rotten dog board and LCD display set; since the tech is not able to fix it so far even with a reworked board, but then decided to learn how to use Python and P ROC or FAST for MPF. Looking to retheme a Bram Stokers Dracula myself soon, but now the Flash i have seems like a good candidate. Love the work you have been doing.
What is the cost of the FAST / PROC components you had to purchase so far? Did you already have a working knowledge of Python previous to tackling this project?
My friend who is selling me the BSD has a vinyl sticker printer and a acrylic laser cutter already so he is willing to help me with the art once i have the flow, rules and programming are all done.
Was thinking if i learn to tackle P ROC it would be better to learn for a DMD generation system just so its easier for my second machine which will include a DMD or LCD as Display options.
Can't wait to see the finished table!

This far into the project, I can offer some advice. Tackling a full re-theme or designing a new game is possible if you're at least one of three things:

1. An experienced electrical engineer
2. A computer programmer
3. An artist or have experience with cabinet & playfield repair.

I am an artist - the least valuable of the three - but I've figured out the electrical stuff and have just started exploring the programming, with zero experience in any programming language. The technical jargon you'll encounter is dizzying and you'll have to deal with people who are thinking on a different plane, who assume you have the same expertise they do. It helps if you have no deadline, know how to do an effective Google search, and enjoy the creative process.

The three P-ROC boards together cost about $575 and the (as yet uninstalled) Raspberry Pi was $35, but the little expenses - wire, connectors, crimps, solder - really add up. I'm going to add another $100 lamp matrix board once I Figure out my display issues and backbox setup. (Both P-ROC and Mission Pinball are set up only for DMD displays but I want to dumb it down and use solid state LED's or maybe alphanumerics.)

If you go with P-ROC, download and read all the documentation carefully ahead of time. Same with Mission Pinball software - read through the tutorials to get a sense of how it works before you start the project. As I've mentioned, Flash is the ideal re-theme candidate. Good luck with your project!

#222 3 years ago
Quoted from pinballrockstar:

You want advise? Stop counting the money spent.
Just spend and make something beautiful..it doesn't matter.
Btw, could you send me a pm who did the artwork for the playfield?.

I'm keeping track of the cost to show that a custom game can be made way cheaper than a NIB. At the moment I'm a few steps from my first flips at roughly half the cost of a GB Pro.

I did all the artwork myself.

#223 3 years ago

PA140433 (resized).JPG

#224 3 years ago

Jeezy creezy what a weekend.
I made some progress but met roadblocks at every. Step. Of. The. Way.
And to make things more of a challenge, anyone who could help me on the various forums was preoccupied at Expo, so I was essentially on my own.

Boards are installed but the P-ROC wasn't getting 12v power.
Once I figured that out, I couldn't install the hardware drivers.
Once I figured that out, the P-ROC wouldn't connect to my computer.
Once I figured that out, I didn't know the programming protocols for switches and coils.
Once I figured that out, only one switch is recognized and doesn't do anything on the machine.

... And suddenly it's late at night on a Sunday and time for bed.

I'll keep plugging away, but I hope things get easier.

#226 3 years ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

Amazing how a 5 minute fix can take hours, isn't it? Have you hit up the P-ROC forums? Of course lots of those guys were probably showing machines at Expo this weekend. Don't give up!

Oh, yes. They are very aware of me on both the P-ROC and MPF forums.

#229 3 years ago

Big thanks to Pinsider bonnevil69 for walking me through a few issues and getting me to this point!

#231 3 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Umm... looks like you got a sticky right flipper, and the GI is flickering when you flip. How do you have everything wired?

It's one loose bulb and the flipper bat needs to be tightened. It took a staggering amount of work to get to this point - thanks for undermining my achievement with minutia.

#238 3 years ago

So my flippers are functional - and now the "virtual EOS switches" are even working, so they'll cradle a ball - and I've spent the better part of two days trying to get the rest of my switches to register. Most needed a filing and a leaf adjustment, but weird things were still going on. Mostly, when one switch made contact it also registered the switch from two columns away. But I pinpointed the problem and discovered that a resistor was arcing the slingshot switches, causing them to register whenever any switch in their respective row or column was triggered.

Then, none of my Row 3 switches would register, so I traced the problem back, tightened the connectors, reflowed some solder that looked iffy, and replaced the connector that links to the P-ROC. Now the Row 3 switches are working fine!... but the row 1 switches are all out.

Enough for one day.

#239 3 years ago
Quoted from Mocean:

You can do so but you'd need Jim/Applesauce's AN display adapter for the P-ROC to drive those displays. If MPF didn't support that device, I'd be surprised. I can think of quite a few (admittedly PyProcGame/SkeletonGame projects) that use AN displays: Earthshaker Aftershock, Pinbot 2.0, and Total Annihilation to name three off the top of my head. Actually, I think if you use simpler AN displays than the System 11 ones, you can drive them via arduino but I don't remember the details there.

Can someone put me in touch with this guy? I have all the questions.

#243 3 years ago

It plays! And I have an attract mode light show!
Everything works, except I'm still working on getting the drop targets to re-set during a game when they're complete.

#247 3 years ago

Because I'm using 5 volt power to light LEDs that are designed for 6.3 volts, the inserts were looking a little dim. Especially using naturally-dimmer colored bulbs under already-tinted inserts. My solution?

Quasars.

These are the brightest bulbs available - only in cool white with clear domes - and when they're given full power, they'll practically sear your retinas off. But with only 5 volts, they look really good and cut through the opaque inserts with no problem. The new bulbs arrived today from Comet Pinball and I made this video to show them off. Enjoy!

1 week later
#248 3 years ago

The game now has three sub-modes working - secondary features that will run alongside the main objective modes and add to the scoring.

Next comes the interesting part, where I get to program the various games this machine will play!

#249 3 years ago

With the sub-modes taken care of, I feel like I'm getting the hang of how MPF works. But before I get into creating the serious modes, I need to take a short break to attend to some work I've been neglecting and make some end-of-year business trips. The real world interferes yet again with pinball.

But I wanted to share with everyone my plan for how the game will work. Here's a flowchart showing how I envision a game going:

GameFlowChart2 (resized).jpg

Basically, upon starting a game, the player is taken right into a Menu Mode, where he or she can choose a song. Each song has its own objective and, when the objective is complete, they'll lock the ball in the saucer and one of the three red lights in the center of the playfield lights. Completing any three songs leads to a timed mode where every shot is worth a large amount.

Completing each song awards the player a different amount of time in the wizard mode, depending on the difficulty of the objective. It also increases scoring of one game feature during the wizard mode so, while you could play "Fat Bottom Girls" three times to get to the bonus round, it would be a greater scoring advantage to choose, say, "Bicycle Race," "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Killer Queen" to get a diverse set of scoring opportunities.

As I said early on, I want this machine to be a sort of "EM Multicade" and you'll notice that "Don't Stop Me Now" is based on Fun Land, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is based on Golden Arrow, "Under Pressure" is a countdown game like Travel Time and "Killer Queen" (which will be the most challenging to program) is basically like Bongo, Hot Line or OXO.

1 month later
12
#252 2 years ago

I've been quietly working on the game programming, but finally have something to show! It's a long way from being finished, but this video will show off the coding I've accomplished so far and give you an idea for how the game play works. I'm really happy with the progress and have the patient admins at the MPF user forum to thank for nearly everything you see. Enjoy!

4 weeks later
#259 2 years ago

I'm starting to think about the backglass...

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 2.51.39 PM (resized).png

#261 2 years ago
Quoted from Helixthree:

I love this project, very cool how you have updated Flash's flow for a new theme borrowing the selectable song options really brings a lot to the table for a single ball game.
You are intending to keep single ball? Or would Multi Ball even be a possible addition?

I'll have to keep it a single ball game because the Flash playfield isn't equipped for Multiball. MPF requires that the game keep track of all balls at all times, which would require an extra trough switch that Flash doesn't have. I agree it would be cool to have a Multiball, though.

#267 2 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

Queen should have been Stern's first music pin.

It should have been a Bally from 1978.

4 weeks later
#268 2 years ago

Here's my idea for the backglass. It might change a bit if I can't get all five displays working.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 9.24.13 AM (resized).png

17
#270 2 years ago

I printed the back glass art on paper and taped it to a sheet of Lexan to test things out. Here's a first look at the total art package.

P3180020 (resized).JPG

P3180019 (resized).JPG

#272 2 years ago

Here's another programming progress video, featuring three new game modes and revisions on two of the existing modes. Also, I added switch sounds and callouts as well as more light shows to punctuate the action.

I've done a lot of work on the first wizard mode, but it's not ready to show off yet.

#276 2 years ago
Quoted from pinballrockstar:

Real cool progress,how did you do that jukebox part with mpf?
Can you perhaps share that bit of code?
I won't share with the public if you PM.
If not for the Minion machine,it is handy for a future project pinball.
The center lights as the countdown clock is real smart.
Great work man.

Thanks! My song selection menu is done with MPF's "carousel" feature as a stand-alone mode. I just programmed it to play a different light show and music track for each step of the cycle. Then, when a song is selected, it posts (for example) carousel_bicycle_selected, which stops carousel mode and starts the selected game mode.

#279 2 years ago
Quoted from BorgDog:

You a little behind, current is 0.32, 0.33 about to come out.. or so I read.
Nice Queen retheme, I've been thinking/dreaming/planning a Highlander (original movie) pin for some time, which of course would feature a Queen soundtrack.

Correct - I'm using 0.32 and the mods at the MPF Forums say 0.33 is only days away from release. Which is great news, because there's some stuff I have planned for my wizard mode that the current MPF can't do yet.

1 month later
#285 2 years ago

The latest coding progress is ready to show off! This video shows:

1. Game mode #8: We Will Rock You.
2. The three sub-modes, which increase playfield multipliers when completed.
3. A quick glass-off run-through of the game's overall structure, including bonus modes and a final sudden-death wizard mode.

Enjoy!

4 weeks later
#286 2 years ago

With the majority of the programming done, I took a little break to regroup and plan the next steps. Here's what lies ahead for this project:

1. Getting the score displays to work. P-ROC and Mission Pinball are really designed with DMD displays in mind, but this is a throwback game and I really want to use the original Bally segment displays. I've been in contact with MyPinballs.com who sell a small adapter board. We're working out how to get it to work.

P5130064 (resized).JPG

2. My overall goal is to make a "wedgehead multicade" emulating the rules of several different classic games all on one playfield. So far, I have modes inspired by Fun Land, Jacks Open, Grand Prix, Centigrade 37, Beat Time, Travel Time and Golden Arrow (yes, I know some of those aren't wedgeheads). One game I was always hoping to incorporate was OXO, but it comes with some technical challenges. First, it requires a tic tac toe board somewhere on the game. Nothing on the Flash playfield will do. I was toying with the idea of re-making the backbox panel, but I'm in search of a simpler way that doesn't interfere with the look of the backglass.

The only other logical place for a tic tac toe grid is in the apron.

P5280093 (resized).JPG

I could mount a set of RGB LED's under the opening, make a simple baffle out of cardstock and place a translucent rules card over the top with the numbers lined up to indicate each target. Pops and slingshots would change between red and blue and 3 in a row of the same color would end the mode. Admittedly, it's more of a combination of OXO and Bongo. I found this 1" square grid of LED's that would be perfect.

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 7.03.23 PM (resized).png
Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 7.03.37 PM (resized).png

To make this happen, I'll have to get a P-ROC LED driver board and, because LED's take 3.5v power rather than 6.5v, I'd have to find a way decrease the voltage. This one mode could end up costing about $200.

A much much easier option is to eschew the color-changing idea and put in single-color 6.5v LED's. I certainly have enough leftover spaces on my lamp matrix for 9 new lights and the wiring would be much simpler. But would the game be as compelling?

What if hitting a switch turned on a light on the tic tac toe grid... but hitting that switch again turned it off? Then it would be more of a challenge to light three in a row.

#289 2 years ago

HIVE MIND: I need your help.

Here, again, is a photo of the apron where I want to mount my tic-tac-toe board lights:

d2344ec2050dc05422d7176bbd7574326e22a84e (resized).jpg

What's the best way to widen the hole to make more room for the sockets? I just want to expand the top and bottom by about 1/4" each. Or maybe just one side by 1/2", if that's easier. Keep in mind that:

- Laser cutters, plasma saws etc. aren't feasible options.
- I don't have any access to band saws, chop saws, electric shears, etc. and can't justify the expense for just this.
- If at all possible, I don't want to disturb the vinyl decal that covers the apron.

Think easy and cheap. Thanks!

#291 2 years ago
Quoted from QuietEarp:

Maybe a dremel with a cut off wheel? You would then want to cover the assembly with some sort of bezel as I am sure you would not have the world's most straight cut.

Yes - the whole thing would be covered with a standard-sized rule card. Thanks- a Dremel is probably the best cheap option.
Any thoughts on using tin snips? Maybe a couple of relief cuts and then bend the metal flaps underneath?

1 week later
#295 2 years ago

Right now I'm waiting on two different online orders so I can complete the next steps - jumper wires to connect the displays and bayonet light bases to make the tic-tac-toe assembly in my apron.

In the mean time, I've mounted the display adapter behind the back box panel...

P6160104 (resized).JPG

...and I've wired up a new column of matrix lights. The new bundle of wires will go through the apron hole and connect to a mini light board.

P6160101 (resized).JPG

In other news, while doing all this wiring, the cabinet got bumped causing the playfield to fall into the cabinet. Luckily, I took a lot of the impact and walked away with a nasty scratch on my shoulder. One of my favorite shirts got torn up in the process.

P6160099 (resized).JPG

It may or may not be related, but I had some issues starting a game after that and now the machine won't boot up at all. I have a message in to P-ROC asking for help. Perhaps that's enough for one night.

#299 2 years ago

Thanks, all - my shoulder has already improved and feels much better than it looks.

Here's what happened that night:

I stated by adding wiring for a new matrix column, to control the tic tac toe grid that will go in the apron. Then I went into the main config file in MPF to define the new lights. The matrix column took care of eight lights, so I decided to re-wire the apron flasher to be the center light of the grid. I lifted the playfield and adjusted the wiring, but didn't prop it out far enough. I accidentally bumped the cabinet and the playfield came down, mostly on my shoulder.

After that, The game was working - meaning MPF would run and the attract lights would go - but the dedicated switches (start button and flippers) wouldn't work. I had installed Molex connectors on those switch wires, in case I wanted to detach the head from the body and, Figuring that the connections were damaged in the fall, decided to ditch the Molex and heat shrink the wires together.

I then put the playfield back and tried to start it up, but my computer couldn't connect to the P-ROC. I've been over it on the P-ROC forums and we've concluded that a short damaged one or more board components. At the least, it looks like I'll need some board repair. At the most, a whole new P-ROC.

The expense and the time delay aren't a concern. I've been working on this project for over a year and it will get done. It's a big setback, but nothing that can't be overcome.

#302 2 years ago

P6240112 (resized).JPG
P6240111 (resized).JPG
P6240116 (resized).JPG
P6240118 (resized).JPG
P6240120 (resized).JPG

#303 2 years ago

I borrowed a Dremel to cut a wider hole for the lights (there were many sparks) and added a cardstock bezel.

P6240121 (resized).JPG

#304 2 years ago

My latest learning opportunity was discovering that the original Bally display units require 190 volts of power to operate - way more that I'm equipped to provide. So $250 later, I have a new set of Pinscore LED replacement displays installed.

P6280123 (resized).JPG

Now, can someone please confirm that the red wires on the far left are power in and the blue and white wires on the far right are the ground?

P6240122 (resized).JPG

#305 2 years ago

OHMYGOD!

P6300125 (resized).JPG

#307 2 years ago
Quoted from BorgDog:

So, I'm curious, if these are a drop in replacement for the original what are they using power wise? I don't know the Bally displays but assume there is other voltage there somewhere??

These replacement displays use 5v power. I'm using the original Bally plugs and wiring , but clipped the wires that led into the original power board and connected them to my own power system.

I'm not sure why those two are showing all 3's, though.

#308 2 years ago

AH! That's better. It turns out some of my connections were a bit off.

P6300129 (resized).JPG

#309 2 years ago

As long as I'm working in the back box, let's wire up some GI.

P6300130 (resized).JPG

Here's the paper printout of the back glass art in place. Obviously, my measurements were off on the display windows. John Deacon will have to move to the left to make room for the credit display (it's causing a shadow on his face) and the protective film is still on the Lexan, causing the red tint on Roger Taylor's face. Overall, though it looks pretty good.

P6300131 (resized).JPG

#311 2 years ago

Props to applejuice for all his help getting the score displays working!

#315 2 years ago
Quoted from ZNET:

I suspect that an appetite exists for a Queen game. In the future, I hope that you receive an invitation, at any time, to display your extraordinary conversion game. . .perhaps at an expo with caviar and cigarettes. . .an invitation you can't decline. . .

Don't get the Moet and Chandon out of your pretty cabinet just yet... there's still a long way to go with this project.

Queen would absolutely make a great pinball theme for a real production run, but Stern, Jack, etc. would never make a machine like this - these days they're only interested in deep-rule repeat-the-shot woodchoppers that can be used in competitions. And that's exactly why I wanted to make this game this way.

Quoted from trunchbull:

This is super cool and I love how, just like the game is a greatest hits of Queen songs, the rules are a greatest hits of rulesets.

You get it, my friend.

#317 2 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Don't be so sure, I've heard rumors that one of the companies are interested in this title.

I meant they'd never make a game with an objective-based rule set like mine.

2 weeks later
#319 2 years ago

My latest coding update video is ready! This one shows off my ninth and final game mode, "Somebody to Love", which is inspired by Williams OXO but, due to some technical limitations, plays more like Bally Bongo. No matter, it turned out great and this is the most fun of all the modes to play!

Getting this mode to happen required making a little light grid, adding it to the lamp matrix, expanding the hole in the metal apron, figuring out that 4-SMD red 44's are the way to go and, of course, all the programming. Enjoy!

2 weeks later
#324 2 years ago
Quoted from nwpinball:

It's amazing the amount of modes you can add to an old Flash layout to make the game way deeper. Nice work!

Eleven seems to be the max.

Quoted from mof:

Great idea...
Now, please put some new cliffy flipper return frames on there and get that ball hop out of there!
-mof

I have other, more pressing issues to work out right now - specifically, some more mundane aspects of coding that don't warrant a flashy video:

1. I added a tilt! After two warnings (with buzzer sound effects), the music stops and the flippers shut off when the tilt bob makes contact for the third time. The ball then drains and the next ball kicks out, but I can't get the music to re-start.

2. I've only tested the game in one-player games, but recently thought to try out a two-player game. This opened a Pandora's box of logic issues. When Player 1's ball ends, their selected mode and music keeps going over top of Player 2's game. I can stop Player 1's game and music when their ball ends, but then they lose all their game progress and they have to start over from scratch when their turn comes back up. Also, I can't restart their mode-specific music track. Thinking through all the stop/start configurations makes my head spin.

1 month later
#329 2 years ago

We're long overdue for a project update. I've been busy working out two issues, but seem to have reached am impasse for now.

The machine now plays multi-player games with almost no issue - music stops and starts properly between players and the machine remembers each player's progress between balls. The only issue left there is that the progress lights (which keep track of number of objectives completed) don't progress correctly between players and between balls. I've discussed it with the MPF mods and it looks like it's a software issue that they're working out for the next code update.

I've also been working on getting my displays working with the help of Pinsider applejuice. The display adapter was acting weird, so we tried replacing it with a new one and it seems to be working much better already. Now we just need to figure out how to get MPF to communicate with it - it should just be a matter of finding the right coding syntax.

But besides that, the game plays really well. I hope that once these two hurdles have been overcome it will be a quick path to completion!

3 weeks later
#332 2 years ago

Update time!

1. We (meaning myself, Jan at MPF and Jim at MyPinballs.com) got the score displays working! Including my 5th display, which had an added degree of difficulty. I'll post a video showing it off in a week or two, but not sooner because...

2. I sent my backglass design off to my local print shop yesterday and want to wait to show off the displays behind the finished backglass. The plan is to make the backglass the same way I did the playfield plastics, with translucent printed vinyl adhered to a sheet of Lexan. I hope I explained it adequately and that the printers understand that it will be backlit. They seemed confused about why I wanted those six little rectangles cut out. I also hope the colors come out as vibrant as they appear on screen.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 12.27.02 PM (resized).png

3. I just have two programming bugs to work out before I can call the coding done! One involves the scoring - right now, scoring and advancing playfield multipliers only work for player 1, but I'm hoping to crack the problem soon. The other issue has to do with some of the indicator lights carrying over from ball to ball and it's something MPF was working on.

After that, I can worry about transferring the programming onto a Raspberry Pi to un-tether the game from the host computer and then set up speakers. It's coming together!

1 week later
#333 2 years ago

My backglass artwork arrived from the printer!

PA250208 (resized).JPG

I had my printer make two things. first, the main artwork on a large sheet of translucent vinyl with the score display windows cut out. He also printed a set of words in reverse lettering on clear vinyl to stick to the back - these are the specially-lit features like GAME OVER and TILT that appear behind the artwork.

My first step was to get the blank sheet of lexan in place. The protective film is still on it.

PA250200 (resized).JPG

Then, I taped the cut out clear stickers in place to make sure the placement against the bevels is correct.

PA250201 (resized).JPG

I don't have a light table, but I do have the next best thing - a Night Moves. The next step is to flip the sheet over, remove the protective film from the back and place the clear stickers exactly over top of the placeholders.

PA250204 (resized).JPG

Then, I flipped the sheet over, removed the plastic film on the front, and taped the main artwork firmly in place.

PA250208 (resized).JPG

I used the "hinge" method to place the sticker once side at a time, going slowly across the plastic with a padded squeegee.

PA250209 (resized).JPG

Then, I removed the protective paper from the front.

PA250211 (resized).JPG

Voila! A beautiful backglass. It doesn't look this washed-out in person and a few colored LEDs around the edges will help make the colors pop. Also, it looks like my measurements were a little off on the bottom display windows and I'll have to fix the shadow across John Deacon's face. Oh well.

PA250212 (resized).JPG

Here's what the backlit indicator lights look like.

PA250213 (resized).JPG

PA250207 (resized).JPG

1 month later
#336 2 years ago

Here's a new update showing the backglass artwork and working segment displays, outlining how the special bonus display works, and including a brief gameplay example.

Right now, I'm working out a few details regarding the extra balls - one for reaching a score threshold and a 2nd as a Special award. I want the player to be able to take them into the final end-of-line super wizard mode and it's proving a challenge to get things working correctly. After that, the only challenge left is to transfer the code to a Raspberry Pi and cut the cords to my host computer.

1 month later
#338 1 year ago